"Sharab, Kebab, aur Shabab: Critical Approaches to the Journey of Female Entertainers After the Decline of Aristocracy through the Lens of Shyam Benegal"
With the advent of the parallel cinema in the 1950s onwards, which took the wave of progressivism, realism and mushrooming of a new social consciousness forward, we see a re-visualization of women's figure as the site of enigma, exploration, and examination. Shyam Benegal, being one of the doyens of this cult, does create some significant milestones that completely change our outlook. The artistic culture of pre-independent India and also its decline post-independence with the fall of aristocracy has been a subject of multiple interpretations over the ages. In this paper, I wish to re-examine the cinematic representation of the subject position of these female entertainers, their consumers and the socio-political cause of the decline of aristocracy through the lens of Benegal's motion pictures like, Mandi (The Market Place), Bhumika (The Role),Sardari Begum (The Female Chieftain), and Zubeidaa.